Thursday, June 1, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return is still the greatest show of all time

Was on pace to watch the new season after finishing the original run and Fire Walk With Me but the female companion expressed interest so by all means. Time to restart. Sure I can wait on the new stuff. We made it through part of the second season but not far enough where she knows Leland killed Laura (shhh, don't tell her). Then the show came out and there it was clawing at me. I made it a few days. Then I was just the tipping it, “just gonna watch the intro, just gonna see that theme,” and there I am, midway through the second episode when Rachel comes home. Busted. Caught in the act. You don't miss much by not watching the other stuff, I lied, you'll get the gist. Evil, I know. This might be the most selfish thing I have ever done. I can't fucking control it any longer. I binged the fuck out of that shit.

If you don't watch the show and haven't seen these episodes, then the rest of this probably isn't worth your time. This is basically a stream of consciousness rant about stuff I took notes on assembled in something of a readable form. That is my disclaimer.

To begin, I've loved every second of this. Other TV shows are now unwatchable. American Gods is such shit compared to something 26 years in the making made by a fucking master. This is someone's purest vision here. It is intensely beautiful and well done. For all this time we've had what we've had and the project was “dead as a doornail.” Now it is fucking back and we are getting new shit. It's fucking insane. Don't complain about this shit. Stuff like this doesn't come back a generation later. Kick back and savor that shit. Wheels up.
We get a lot of the esoteric stuff from the last season magnified ten fold. Coop is in the Black Lodge sort of frozen in time at the start. Same as we left, in the red room. Music intro is the same but much more Lynchian, somehow. Cooper has been there all these years with the tall man. So far so good. Then we also get a brain tree. What? And an evil brain tree. Wah? And eyeless mutant ladies out of nowhere. And three Coopers. It's Lynch we are talking about here. Plot is not really the issue here. More like rolling themes. It's also a much bleaker show in the age of Trump. There are no heroes, nothing matters, there is no moral compass. Get by however you can. That's we're all at. Fuck.

Get a little bit of some of the older characters. Basically, we get a lot of the same faces and same places, like the briefing room. All the people have been ravaged by time but the place is more or less the same, resistant to change (we get a dumb scene later on when Lucy freaks out over cellular phone technology). The new season starts with Dr. Jacoby living the isolated, hippy, trailer, probably growing weed lifestyle. Pleasant. My favorite one of these is the exchange between Ben and Jerry Horne at the Great Northern which is exactly the same. Ben introduces Jerry to his new secretary, Ashley Judd. Ben is the same, but we get this hippy Jerry that is noice. Ben is like “what is on your mind, Jer?” His reply is amazing: “ Swimming in my mind at this time, literally, is my new hydroponic indica-sativa hybrid, a touch of the mythic AK-47 by way of the Amsterdam express. It's baked into this banana bread and infused in this potent spreadable jam that's ideal for creative sojourns of a solitary nature. Wheels up.” Wheels up, indeed.

The most moving of these are the ones with Log Lady, when James and Shelley see each other at The Roadhouse, and Bobby seeing Laura's case file. The Log Lady scenes are fucking brutal. We see her on the literal verge of death, the actor went not long after, in the latest stages of cancer. She has basically no hair and is on oxygen. Feel fucking horrible for what she is obviously going through. This is basically someone's goodbye. That was clearly the heaviest. I was not prepared to be moved like that. The scene where we see Shelly and James is sort of painful, too. James looks gaunt and broken, yet he smiles, like someone with a few years sobriety under his belt who had previously been through some shit. He looks surprisingly cool. “James is still cool,” Shelly tells us while some fucking dope band plays dreamy, lo-fi electronica in the background (the Chromatics playing “Shadow”), “he's always been cool.” And he is fucking cool. He was not cool in the show. But here he is godly. I can't say enough about this scene. The last one on the list, when Bobby, hilariously a cop, sees the picture of Laura Palmer out in the briefing room after all this time, and loses it with grief and we get the LP theme. It couldn't be cheesier. It is stunning. It's so extreme out of nowhere. He like can't speak he so overcome and we hear him in real time babble like an idiot. I throw around terms like “insane” and “bananas” around a lot. This is genuinely both of those things. Meanwhile Robert Forster, the new Sherriff Truman, is there being like “what the hell is happening here.” It's hilarious.

James is now cool

Speaking of Forster, a lot of weird shit with the new characters. I'll get to him and Michael Cera last. First, there is a woman in this hotel that talks to police that I feel like I talk to every day. Painfully stupid and self-involved. I shan't waste time on her. But she leads us to Mathew Lillard's storyline. He is accused of murdering a librarian he is having an affair with. There is maybe a demon possessing him. There is so much going on here it is best not even to get into it. I think the place is the most important thing here, though. DoppleCooper, the evil one, also ends up in the area. Everything about him is disturbing. The gist of this I think is we are supposed to sort of see that shit is converging in this area of South Dakota. Like Twin Peaks was, maybe.

Back to Forster and Cera. First off, Cera's baby chin is always freaky. Also of note here is Cera's parents, Lucy and Andy from the sheriff's department. These two. Andy doubles down on idiocy. It rubs off on Lucy as she can't grasp the concept of cellular telephones. Seeing someone walking around she was just on the phone with almost kills her. As the receptionist that answers the phones, she only exists in a POTS line world. Anyway, what unfolds when Cera shows up is absurd. I couldn't stop laughing. Throughout his scene he impersonates Marlon Brando, his character's name is Wally Brando and is dressed like Marlon in The Wild Ones, in the way he is collectively seen. This is done for god knows what purpose but is nonetheless amazing. It just kept going on and Forster is so straight and sincerer, standing there like, “what the hell is happening?” When Cera refers to his folks, as “these fine people, my parents, who I love so dearly,” I totally lost my shit. After a long pause, he announces, in dramatic form that his parents can use his childhood bedroom as their study and drones on like “I think about Lewis and his friend Clark the first caucasians to set foot in this part of the world,” and I lost it again. Forster is like, “great to see you again, kid, okay, then,” and says something about letting the road guide him or some such nonsense cliche. “Such a lovely turn of phrase. My dharma is the road. Your dharma,” and then gestures that it is Twin Peaks or the universe or whatever. Forster has clearly had enough of that.

My favorite of the episodes so far is the fourth. Rachel called this episode a disaster, so keep that in mind. “It's all over the place,” she said. “So many things.”

Somewhere between rage and delirium 
Either way though we agreed that the scene with Cera was insane and that the stuff with Agent Cooper, who looks just like James Comes, is fucking hilarious. Basically he has returned and is inhabiting someone who looks just like him's life. He is more or less a baby that cannot take care of himself. In the previous episode we see the guy Cooper turns into with a prostitute (much has been made that this is the first black person in any Lynch program which I shan't get into). She ends up dropping him off with $5 at a casino where he goes on to win 30 jackpots on the slot machines, freaking everyone out in the process. He was gone for days apparently and when he returns home, wife Naomi Watts is insane with rage. That is until she finds out he has like 100s of thousands of dollars now that they can pay the mob back with or whatever. Keep in mind Cooper basically says nothing while Naomi Watts goes through every conceivable emotion in less than a minute like an insane person.

This keeps happening, people just talking at him and not noticing how weird he's being. I can relate. There is this pretty powerful scene though when in the morning, while Dave Brubeck builds in the background, that Coop sees coffee for the first time and it suddenly feels like he is going to snap back or something. He grabs the cup like a maniac, drinks it, burns himself, and spits it out. Naomi Watts is like, “Dougie?!? What the hell.” And Cooper say, “Hi.” Uhhhh.

These are my thoughts so far but they are far from complete or comprehensive. Also, I imagine we have no idea what is coming down the line. Cole and Albert say the Cooper situation is a “blue rose.” A sure sign something surreal is on the way. Until next time. 

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